“I want to make a toast to a wonderful night where we can continue to build these relationships,” Clayton Echard told his remaining suitors on The Bachelor Monday night.
He did so at a cocktail party in Vienna.
And he also did so just prior to pulling Serene aside and giving her some jars filled with twinkle lights in memory of her late cousin.
“I wanted to bring these jars, here are our fireflies here in Croatia,” Clayton told the 26-year old. “And it’s really just an honor for her that she’s here with us as we go on this journey and build these memories.”
The gesture prompted Serene to tell the camera that she’s “falling in love” with the Missouri native.
Elsewhere, Mara and Sarah went at it, with the former accusing the latter of treating Clayton like a “trophy” while alienating the other women.
At the subsequent Rose Ceremony, Echard gave roses to Susie, Serene, Gabby and Genevieve… meaning Mara and Eliza were headed home.
Clayton then jumped in a vintage car with Susie for a solo date and drove to Austrian designer Eva Poleschinski’s private showroom.
The wedding videographer called the outing “the most incredible experience of my life,” and that was before they went out to dinner at the Schönbrunn Palace.
“I am so very ready to meet your family and get to know the people that you care about and love so much,” Clayton later said, referring to the upcoming hometown dates and giving Susie a rose.
Sarah, Teddi, Genevieve, Rachel and Gabby embarked on this week’s group, which consisted of couples therapy sessions with Clayton in honor of being in Sigmund Freud’s hometown.
In Clayton’s session with Teddi, the aspiring wife revealed:
“I do feel feelings for you stronger than I have in the past and especially this early,” to which Clayton affirmed he felt “very good about where we’re currently at.”
Genevieve, meanwhile, admitted she had trouble opening up — and that this wasn’t gonna change.
She and Clayton therefore agreed that her journey had to come to an end.
“We ran out of time,” Clayton simply explained.
Sarah, conversely, made the most of her time.
At first, she denied all accusations made by her fellow suitors, claiming they’ve been hurtful.
However, Clayton confessed the situation had “been trying for our relationship,” adding:
“But my intuition was telling me that there wasn’t much validity to that statement and like the second you started reassuring me I was like, okay, I don’t have anything to worry about, so we pushed through it.
“We realized trust was established on a whole other level. I feel really good about where we’re at.”
The therapist chatting with these women proceeded to point out some dishonesty to Clayton, who then made it his mission at the second cocktail party to weed out the liar.
Both Gabby and Rachel Recchia pointed the finger at Sarah.
Through tears, when faced with these claims, Sarah alleged that she’d always been there for the other ladies.
But “when it comes to me I’m not allowed to feel anything,” she said.
Clayton didn’t believe her, though, telling Sarah he felt she tried to “force the tears out” and adding:
“It sounds like you were trying to manipulate these women into thinking there was more there to the point where they felt that they should just give up.
“I’m sorry, but I just don’t believe you and I think we’re done,” Clayton told Sarah, sending her packing in the process and keeping the group date rose to himself.
As Clayton walked Sarah out to the car, he emphasized again: “If I can’t trust you then we can’t continue.”
Following a very successful one-on-one date with Serene (“I am falling in love with you,” Serene told Clayton) that earned the suitor a rose, The Bachelor was torn.
“I am just following my heart and allowing my feelings to take over and guide me in the direction I need to go,” he explained to the group prior to the next Rose Ceremony.
He then extended roses to Rachel and Gabby, sending surgical unit nurse Teddi packing before hometowns.
“I was not expecting that tonight,” Teddi said to the cameras. “I don’t know what changed like within a week because it sounded like it was me from our last conversation.”